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UCLA’s Jordin Canada pushing the ball up the court with USC’s Aliyah Mazyck trailing during a game at the Galen Center. Photo courtesy of fi360news.com

 

CHECKING OUT WHAT SOCAL HAS TO OFFER IN WOMEN’S HOOPS

 

I’ve never felt that the emphasis should be solely on men and men’s sports on this blog, as an important goal is to make sure that women are well featured.

The various articles covering the WNBA’s Sparks and UCLA’s Gymnastics team on this site attest to this.

Which is why I’m making a point to write this article featuring women’s college basketball and the best that this region has to offer.

Let’s check out some of these teams, starting with my alma mater:

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Pushing the ball up the court at Pauley Pavilion…

 

UCLA BRUINS

Record: 22-7, 13-5 and fourth place n the Pac-12 Conference

Rank: #15 in both the AP and Coaches polls

Coach: Cori Close, 6th year

Highlights:

* Swept crosstown rival USC, 74-59 in Galen Center and 71-67 in Pauley Pavilion

* Went undefeated at home, 14-0

Last Game: Beat Arizona State in Tempe, 55-52, on February 26th

Next Game: Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle, WA as the #4 seed, vs. either #5 Arizona State or #12 Utah, March 3rd at 2:00 p.m.

Top Players:

Jordin Canada, 5′ 6″ Jr. G – 17.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.7 apg

Monique Billings, 6′ 4″ Jr. F – 13.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 58 blocked shots

Kennedy Burke, 6′ 1″ So. G – 12.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg,

Brief Thoughts:

It’s a real pity that these Bruin ladies have been in the shadow of their third ranked, “Showtime” hoops brothers, because they have had a very good season of their own.

The only thing that has kept UCLA out of the top ten and off the short list of Final Four contenders are losses to the Washington and Oregon schools in the Pacific Northwest.

Take away those four setbacks, and those Bruins are 26-3 and easily in the top five, with people talking about the possibility of them taking down the top ranked with the over 100 game winning streak Supergirls of Connecticut

I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they do in the Pac-12 Tournament and how far they will go in the “Big Dance”.

 

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Going for a lay up at the Galen Center…

 

USC TROJANS

Record: 14-15, 5-13 and tied for ninth place in the Pac-12 Conference

Coach: Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, 3rd year

Highlight:

* Beat 8th ranked and Pac-12 regular season champion Oregon State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, OR, 70-50, on February 10th

Last Game: Lost to Arizona in Tucson, 67-62, on February 26th

Next Game: Pac-12 Tournament as the #9 seed, vs California, March 2nd at 11:30 a.m.

Top Players:

Kristen Simon, 6′ 1″ Jr. F – 14.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg

Minyon Moore, 5′ 8″ Fr. G – 11.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.0 apg

Courtney Jaco, 5′ 8″ Sr. G – 10.7 ppg, 2.6 apg

Brief Thoughts:

To state the obvious, this season hasn’t gone the way these Women of Troy had planned as they have lost four of their last five games and are currently on a three game losing streak.

But you know what?

This is a team from USC, with all the “Fight On!” pride that goes along with that, and as evidenced by them beating Oregon State in their house, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they won a couple of games in the conference tournament.

After all, those Trojans have nothing to lose, and that makes for a dangerous team.

 

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The 49ers celebrating…

 

LONG BEACH STATE 49ers

Record: 20-9, 11-3 and second place in the Big West Conference

Coach: Jody Wynn, 8th year

Highlight:

* This marks Long Beach State’s third straight 20-win season.

Last Game: Beat UC Irvine, 87-74, on February 25th

Next Game: Cal State Northridge at the Walter Pyramid on March 2nd (Tonight!)

Top Players:

Raven Benton, 5′ 10″ Sr. G – 10.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Madison Montgomery, 6′ 1″ Sr. F – 10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 29 blocked shots

Anna Kim, 5′ 5″ Sr. G – 10.0 ppg, 3.7 apg

Jewelyn Sawyer, 6′ 0″ Sr. F/G – 9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg

Brief Thoughts:

Two impressions came to mind when I did research of this team…

1. Their offense is extremely well spread out as their top three scorers are all averaging ten points a game, and…

2.  These 49ers are exclusively led by seniors, meaning that the window is closing fast as far as being contenders for the Big West tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament.

 

 

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CSUN’s Matadors celebrating a Big West Tournament title in 2014…

 

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE MATADORS

Record: 17-11, 10-4 and third place in the Big West Conference

Coach: Jason Flowers, 7th year

Highlight:

* Currently on a nine game winning streak!

Last Game: Beat UC Riverside, 79-70, on February 25th

Next Game: at Long Beach State on March 2nd (Tonight!)

Key Players:

Channon Fluker, 6′ 4″ So. C – 17.2 ppg, 11.6 rpg

Serafina Maulupe, 5′ 8″ Jr. G – 13.9 ppg

Tessa Boagni, 6′ 2″ Jr. F – 6.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Brief Thoughts:

That nine game winning streak, more than doubling CSUN’s win total from eight to 17, and the numbers that Channon Fluker has really jumped out at me when I checked out this program.

Simply put, these Matadors from the San Fernando Valley are on fire!

And are scheduled for a showdown as they travel 46 miles (about an hour’s drive) down the 405 Freeway to Long Beach for a clash with the 49ers tonight.

Any team that has won nine games in a row is dangerous.

That’s why the upcoming Big West Tournament on March 7-11 will be quite exciting as this is a team that is more than capable of beating anyone – save for Connecticut – at the moment.

 

 

Highlights of UCLA getting the sweep over USC at Pauley Pavilion, winning 71-67 on January 22nd. Courtesy of YouTube.

 

 

 

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